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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a new rider and I just bought a 1995 ZX600C two weeks ago. It's been parked all winter. I have no idea how old the battery is. I had to charge it before it would start, but then it seemed to start fine for the next few days. I've had it parked for a week since last starting it. I pulled the battery last night and it was nearly dry (1/4 full).

If this was YOUR bike, would you risk refilling the fluid and depending on a battery that probably hasn't been maintained and doesn't have a date on it? Or would you buy a new battery and not worry about it? I'd like to not be stranded and I'd also like to not fork over money for a new battery. What would you do if you were in my shoes?
 

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IBA#34418
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Welcome and yes. If you're battery is in bad shape it very well may leave you stranded.

Post some pics when you get chance. We are a visual bunch around here. We like bike pics!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here's the bike the day after I got it. It's an awful pic and the seat is off. It's the only pic I have on my work computer. Right now the wheels are off of it. They were extremely dirty (and purple!). I'm going to paint the wheels this week. I'll probably remove the decals sometime soon and repaint the tank. It has 12k miles and I paid $1700 for it. The clutch was rebuilt and the carbs were rejetted a couple of weeks before I bought it. There's a little road rash on the lower fairing, but it's in nearly immaculate shape other than that.

Thanks for the welcome and the advice. I was leaning towards replacing the old battery with a gel battery if anyone else thought the old battery was a risk also.
 

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Slow Guy on a Fast Bike
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Welcome to the forum, and to answer your question...........I'd replace the battery, no question. It's just not worth the hassle to get stranded or be left out of a ride cause you're bike is sitting at home with a dead battery.
 

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AZ's Official Mechanic
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fill it with distilled water
charge it at 2amp over night to put a FULL CHARGE on it (caps off)
have it LOAD TESTED (should hold 10.5v+ for 10secs+) if it passes the LOAD TEST then run it till ya can afford a new battery....

is it a clear battery case or all black case ? if its a clear case then look for white splotches in the plates. that would be sulfacation and that would be a battery on its way out/done.....
 

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Navy Vet Search & Rescue
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fill it with distilled water
charge it at 2amp over night to put a FULL CHARGE on it (caps off)
have it LOAD TESTED (should hold 10.5v+ for 10secs+) if it passes the LOAD TEST then run it till ya can afford a new battery....

is it a clear battery case or all black case ? if its a clear case then look for white splotches in the plates. that would be sulfacation and that would be a battery on its way out/done.....
+1
But if the battery passes the load test, I'd run it until you find a good reason to replace it. Just because it's age is unknown, is not a reason to replace it. If it passes the load test then it's doing exactly what it was designed to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sounds like a plan. I was surprised that no one seems to make a sealed battery that fits my mc. I found some batteries that had the same specs, but the size of the case was always different. I hope it will pass the load test. I'll get the battery on a charger this afternoon and run it by a parts store tomorrow during lunch to do the test. Maybe I can get the wheels prepped for primer this evening also. 8)

BTW, it has a clear case. I'll check it for sulfacation.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Shame...it's what I'm feeling. :oops:

I spent 2 hours searching and came up empty handed. Thanks for spending your time and finding that. I really appreciate it. :)
 

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My hat is made of tinfoil
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Welcome to BTK forums, and the answer from me is yes.........change it with a good quality sealed battery of the correct physical size, and appropriate amp/hour rating.
 

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Politicians' Nightmare
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Presumably the battery isn't the sealed variety, which aren't supposed to be unsealed - those batteries will appear to be dry when opened because the electrolyte is completely contained in the fiberglass mat separators. Opening them will drastically shorten their lives.

If the battery is one which is supposed to be maintained by periodically adding water (with cell screw-on caps or pull-off gang caps) and was allowed run virtually dry, it probably need replacement as the plates and separators will have begun to disintegrate, and the debris will short out the plates sooner or later. A load test can give a pretty good indication of a battery's condition at the time of the test, but often is an unreliable predictor of the near future for the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Charged it over night and it passed the load test. However...after after adding distilled water, the white splotches on the plates were very apparent. In the near future I plan on only going on short rides and then coming back to my house since I'm still learning to ride. I signed up to take the basic rider course in 2 weeks. I'll end up getting a new battery in the next month or so.

I had to pick up a friend and take him to work this morning because the battery in his car was dead...talk about irony.

Thank you everyone for your advice and welcomes.
 

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I would also check the bikes charging circuit to ensure that it did not over charge the battery and cause the low levels. One major problem with low battery levels is that with the water evaporated away the concentration of sulphuric acid is much strong and tends to be quite aggressive on the lead plates, creates lots of lead sulphide. The lead suphide can form an internal discharge path in the battery (battery does not hold a charge over a long period). A load test will give you some idea as to the size and surface condition of the plates and electrolyte condition, but it will not test for internal discharge.
A brand spanking new battery can achieve 13.1 VDC unloaded. The average full voltage value should be around 12.8 VDC.
If you take the Amp Hour rating of a battery and divide by 20 the resulting number is the current that the battery should faithfull supply for a duration of 20 hours. This is the standard that the industry uses to size and rate batteries.

Good luck and happy riding,

Spyglass
 

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car batterys are only good for 3 years there should be a date on them...doent sound like they used a tender on it so yeah
 

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Okay batteries aren't too expensive to have the peace of mind. I just replaced mine because I failed to get a battery tender and the winter was too rough here with snow that I couldn't ride this winter as I did the last one.

All car batteries last longer than 3 years. I have 6 year batteries that lasted the full 6 years.

That is a nice looking Ninja. I would consider looking into that rear tire before riding hard it looks like a cruiser tire and you will find it hard on twisties.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Okay batteries aren't too expensive to have the peace of mind. I just replaced mine because I failed to get a battery tender and the winter was too rough here with snow that I couldn't ride this winter as I did the last one.

All car batteries last longer than 3 years. I have 6 year batteries that lasted the full 6 years.

That is a nice looking Ninja. I would consider looking into that rear tire before riding hard it looks like a cruiser tire and you will find it hard on twisties.
Thanks for the advice. I live near the infamous Tail of the Dragon, so I know I'll want to go ride out there sometime (not soon). The road I live on (even my driveway!) is full of turns and twisties. I'm prepping the wheels for paint this week. I'll put up a new thread with before & after pics after I finish. I noticed that the rear tire was plugged at some point and it doesn't have lots of tread left to boot. The plug is directly in the center. I just bought a new tire for the front. I guess I ought to buy a matching tire for the back.
 

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I can't wait to ride the Dragon. I am from TN and have family in Clarksville / Nashville area and drive through Eastern TN on the way there and I want to detour and ride the dragon. I have to get a rack on the camper so I can carry the bike when we go through. I rode it from Philly to Norfolk and won't take it on a long road trip again that short one was more than my butt could handle. I have a 100 mile butt. I am fine as long as I can get off for 10 minutes every 100 miles.
 

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Navy Vet Search & Rescue
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Be careful on the Dragon. That tree is full of motorcycle bits and pieces from riders that thought they had more skill than they did. I'd love to ride it some time just because it looks like a great ride but it's too far from me.
 

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I have watched the videos made going through there. There is a road much shorter that follows a creek up here I like to zip around. Now is a bad time though with all of the potholes and loose gravel from the winter storms.

I am a competent rider and know when to pull back. I have laid one over before and that changed my perspectives a little. I did learn from it. I have also take all the MSF and Navy/MSF sport bikes course and I would recommend that one to every sporty. They teach you how to get out of a jam when you got yourself into a turn to hot.
 
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